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Tags war crime charges , winston churchill , World War II history

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Old 12th September 2017, 07:10 PM   #561
Craig B
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
... But I'm not at all interested in playing Socratic JAQ-off games or other forms of gotcha.
That's a pity. I'm afraid I'm interested only in Socratic JAQ-off games or other forms of gotcha, so I can't fulfil your conditions for further discourse.
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Old 12th September 2017, 07:20 PM   #562
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
@theprestige

Come off it! The comment I was responding to was not about the particularities of the law at given moments, but this
The idea that civilians should be immunized from direct attack when they are the ones turning out the weapons of war doesn't seem all that moral to me.
So discuss that, if you wish to air your views.

As to WW2 being an existential conflict in which all manner of slaughter of civilians may be justified: the Korean War was not existential for the USA, and yet even more severe bombing of civilians was indulged in.
I was discussing it. Garrison made a comment. You replied. I replied to your reply. In fact, I agree with Garrison: It is immoral to immunize civilians from direct attack; but there are degrees. I even went as far as to lay out the framework of my reasoning, with examples.

What's your thinking on the bombing campaign in the Korean war? Was it justified?
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Old 12th September 2017, 07:24 PM   #563
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
That's a pity. I'm afraid I'm interested only in Socratic JAQ-off games or other forms of gotcha, so I can't fulfil your conditions for further discourse.
Hope springs eternal. I forgive you anyway.
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Old 12th September 2017, 07:37 PM   #564
Craig B
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I was discussing it. Garrison made a comment. You replied. I replied to your reply. In fact, I agree with Garrison: It is immoral to immunize civilians from direct attack; but there are degrees. I even went as far as to lay out the framework of my reasoning, with examples.

What's your thinking on the bombing campaign in the Korean war? Was it justified?
No, at all events it can't be justified on grounds such as those already advanced:

The civilian victims were engaged in weapons manufacture. In the Korean case these were made in the USSR or China;

The war was an existential one for the USA. It wasn't.
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Old 13th September 2017, 01:13 AM   #565
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Millions of Indians slaughtered by Churchill would beg to differ. As would countless more of his victims from other ethnic groups.
You might need to expand on this, because if you're talking about the Bengal famine during the war then the above sentence is an out-and-out fantasy.
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Old 13th September 2017, 03:10 AM   #566
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
You might need to expand on this, because if you're talking about the Bengal famine during the war then the above sentence is an out-and-out fantasy.
I would be very surprised if you receive the information you rightly seek. I suspect the response - if any - will be more like this previous specimen.
Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Various sources. Which particular piece of information do you mean? There are several distinct claims in my post.
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Old 13th September 2017, 05:36 AM   #567
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
You might need to expand on this, because if you're talking about the Bengal famine during the war then the above sentence is an out-and-out fantasy.
Yes, the Bengal famine, aka Churchill starving millions of Indians to death.

And what exactly is supposed to be an out-and-out fantasy? He ordered the export of rice from Bengal, ordered the destruction of remaining rice stocks which couldn't be exported, and ordered the diversion of food shipments from Australia towards Europe instead. All the while being perfectly aware of causing famine conditions, but as he so callously remarked: "famine or no famine, they will breed like rabbits."
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Old 13th September 2017, 05:41 AM   #568
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Various sources.
Well, I'm convinced!
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Old 13th September 2017, 06:15 AM   #569
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The famine was a result of a huge number of circumstances, including the internal political structure of India during the Raj. To lay it at the door of one person is simply not credible, and shows a certain lack of knowledge of the detail of the 2 or so years it covers.
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Old 13th September 2017, 06:17 AM   #570
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Yes, the Bengal famine, aka Churchill starving millions of Indians to death.
Are you suggesting that it was deliberate?

And what does it have to do with him being a war criminal?
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Old 13th September 2017, 06:29 AM   #571
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
The famine was a result of a huge number of circumstances, including the internal political structure of India during the Raj. To lay it at the door of one person is simply not credible, and shows a certain lack of knowledge of the detail of the 2 or so years it covers.
By that logic we can't lay the Holocaust at the door of Hitler, because there were a whole range of circumstances involved, including the internal political structure of the Third Reich. That's just a cop-out, it's trivially true that historical events are the result of more than just one person but include other factors, that doesn't stop us from ascribing the Holocaust to Hitler so why should it stop us from ascribing the Bengal famine to Churchill? He knew he was creating a famine yet he willfully did so anyway.
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Old 13th September 2017, 06:30 AM   #572
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
By that logic we can't lay the Holocaust at the door of Hitler, because there were a whole range of circumstances involved, including the internal political structure of the Third Reich. That's just a cop-out, it's trivially true that historical events are the result of more than just one person but include other factors, that doesn't stop us from ascribing the Holocaust to Hitler so why should it stop us from ascribing the Bengal famine to Churchill? He knew he was creating a famine yet he willfully did so anyway.
That's the main one - so, please can you let me see your sources?
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Old 13th September 2017, 07:17 AM   #573
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Churchill did not create the famine!
Seriously.
The internal market failed abysmally.
There was a massive inflation in the price of rice caused in large part by the invasion of Burma, but exacerbated by things like the cyclone that struck the region, and also by seemingly innocuous moves like pulling in all boat transport in '42 to try and prevent it being used by the Japanese should they invade.

Throw in the dislocation caused by the huge increase in people employed in the war industries in the likes of Calcutta and you already have a recipe for disaster, managed by people on the ground who really weren't up to the job.

Yes, the cabinet mismanaged their part, quite spectactularly, but the colonial management (including that of the other states) bears the brunt of the responsibility. There's plenty of blame to go round, so it irks somewhat that people have this blindness towards someone to want to place the blame entirely on them...

ETA: And, as I'm sure you can see, the above has precious little similarity to the Holocaust. Or do I have to walk you through that as well?
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Old 13th September 2017, 07:30 AM   #574
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Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
That's the main one - so, please can you let me see your sources?
For example: http://globalavoidablemortality.blog...44-bengal.html
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Old 13th September 2017, 07:36 AM   #575
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Churchill did not create the famine!
Yes he did.

Quote:
Seriously.
The internal market failed abysmally.
There was a massive inflation in the price of rice caused in large part by the invasion of Burma, but exacerbated by things like the cyclone that struck the region, and also by seemingly innocuous moves like pulling in all boat transport in '42 to try and prevent it being used by the Japanese should they invade.

Throw in the dislocation caused by the huge increase in people employed in the war industries in the likes of Calcutta and you already have a recipe for disaster, managed by people on the ground who really weren't up to the job.

Yes, the cabinet mismanaged their part, quite spectactularly, but the colonial management (including that of the other states) bears the brunt of the responsibility. There's plenty of blame to go round, so it irks somewhat that people have this blindness towards someone to want to place the blame entirely on them...
The typical imperialist excuse: blame so-called "market failure". Has it ever occurred to you that maybe the price went so high because the British exported a record level of rice from India in 1942-43 and set out to destroy remaining rice stocks? Yes, if you take all the food then food becomes short in supply and the price goes up - but that's not because of "market failure" but because of taking all the food. If you then subsequently divert food shipments from Australia to Europe and refuse to allow food imports it only makes food even shorter in supply.

Last edited by caveman1917; 13th September 2017 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 13th September 2017, 07:38 AM   #576
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Yes he did.
Well, I'm convinced!
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Old 13th September 2017, 07:46 AM   #577
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Churchill did not create the famine!
Seriously.
The internal market failed abysmally.
There was a massive inflation in the price of rice caused in large part by the invasion of Burma, but exacerbated by things like the cyclone that struck the region, and also by seemingly innocuous moves like pulling in all boat transport in '42 to try and prevent it being used by the Japanese should they invade.

Throw in the dislocation caused by the huge increase in people employed in the war industries in the likes of Calcutta and you already have a recipe for disaster, managed by people on the ground who really weren't up to the job.

Yes, the cabinet mismanaged their part, quite spectactularly, but the colonial management (including that of the other states) bears the brunt of the responsibility. There's plenty of blame to go round, so it irks somewhat that people have this blindness towards someone to want to place the blame entirely on them...

ETA: And, as I'm sure you can see, the above has precious little similarity to the Holocaust. Or do I have to walk you through that as well?
Seems to be a feature of British rule that famine occurs and the blame is not with the British government at all, deary me no. There's the Great Famine in Ireland in the 1840s of course, but lesser known is the fact that Ireland suffered intermittent regional famines, mainly in Connaught and Munster, every few years after that up until 1912.

There's been no famine at all in Ireland since, I wonder why? Ireland remained a poor country after independence, and remained a largely under developed and agrarian one after independence too. So what changed before and after independence that stopped people starving to death, do you think?

I doubt the Bengal Famine was the only one in India under British rule either.
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Old 13th September 2017, 07:54 AM   #578
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Originally Posted by Strawberry View Post
I doubt the Bengal Famine was the only one in India under British rule either.
It wasn't, and the one of 1943 wasn't the worst one at that. In all, there were 31 major famines in India in the 120 years under British rule, as opposed to 17 in the 2000 years preceding British rule.
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Old 13th September 2017, 08:04 AM   #579
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
The typical imperialist excuse: blame so-called "market failure". Has it ever occurred to you that maybe the price went so high because the British exported a record level of rice from India in 1942-43 and set out to destroy remaining rice stocks? Yes, if you take all the food then food becomes short in supply and the price goes up - but that's not because of "market failure" but because of taking all the food. If you then subsequently divert food shipments from Australia to Europe and refuse to allow food imports it only makes food even shorter in supply.
Nice ignoring of all the other events that were causal to the famine.

Now maybe you'll point out which of those you actually mention had Churchill's name on them, as part of his mission to starve India.
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Old 13th September 2017, 08:05 AM   #580
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Originally Posted by Strawberry View Post
Seems to be a feature of British rule that famine occurs and the blame is not with the British government at all...
Did I say that?
No.
I don't think I did.
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Old 13th September 2017, 08:08 AM   #581
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Nice ignoring of all the other events that were causal to the famine.

Now maybe you'll point out which of those you actually mention had Churchill's name on them, as part of his mission to starve India.
Churchill wasn't on a mission to starve India, he was simply doing what British PMs had done since before he was born - remain callously wedded to free market ideology while people are starving to death in some colony or other. This is why you can find comments from him on record about the famine which make him look like a psychopath, ("they breed like rabbits", "if India is so short of food why isn't Gandhi dead yet?", etc). Not only Churchill not see his actions as morally wrong, he didn't even see them as unusual and certainly never expected to be judged on them by history.

He was just using standard operating procedure.
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Old 13th September 2017, 08:35 AM   #582
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Nice ignoring of all the other events that were causal to the famine.
At some level the formation of the solar system was a causal event to the famine. I'm not denying that other events were causal, but that is trivially true for all historical events. The question is what actions were taken in response to a particular situation irrespective of what events were causal to that situation.

Quote:
Now maybe you'll point out which of those you actually mention had Churchill's name on them,
The order to destroy food stocks in Bengal came from the War Cabinet. No idea whether the order literally had Churchill's name on it or not, but that's hardly a basis for absolving him of it.

The order for Australian food shipments to pass by India and continue on to Europe, to be used for long-term food storage for post-war needs in the UK proper, came from the War Cabinet.

The refusal to allow food imports into Bengal when offered by multiple countries (even by the local rulers in Burma) was Churchill's.

Quote:
as part of his mission to starve India.
He wasn't on a mission to starve India, he just didn't mind starving them, and knowingly did so. If I take away all your food because I want to have a huge party, then I'm technically not on a mission to starve you but on a mission to have a huge party, but the distinction is quite immaterial given that you still starve to death because I took all your food.

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Old 13th September 2017, 12:04 PM   #583
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
It wasn't, and the one of 1943 wasn't the worst one at that. In all, there were 31 major famines in India in the 120 years under British rule, as opposed to 17 in the 2000 years preceding British rule.
Does that not indicate, as I have argued, that Churchill was a typical imperialist? You are stating that imperialism resulted in a higher frequency of famine. I agree. No special homicidal mania by a particular British leader, in the 120 years you refer to, requires to be postulated.

Compare with Hitler. In the days of his rule there was mass killing of Jews. They didn't die of hunger owing to colonial exploitation of agriculture. They were murdered. In the years since Germany had been united, up to Hitler's rise to power, there were 0 instances of genocide of Jews in Germany, although genocide was practiced in then SW Africa, now Namibia, by the German Empire's colonial regimes pre-1918.

Your own very account of the record of famines shows that Churchill resembled his colonial predecessors more closely than he resembled Hitler.
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Old 13th September 2017, 04:00 PM   #584
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Look, again, look at what the Nazis were actually proposing. The goal was not only to extermninate all the 11+ million Jews in Europe, but also to kill off every last Pole by IIRC 1970, to be replaced with German colonists. Since you mention famines, the plan for Ukraine called explicitly for the starvation to death of millions of Ukrainians, to make room for Germans and free up resources for the Germans. Not as side effect, but as GOAL.

The whole lebensraum (living space) concept, and more specifically the explicit Generalplan Ost (the Master Plan for the East) was NOT just a case of getting more resources, no matter who starves. The master plan EXPLICITLY proposes to REMOVE most of whoever was currently living in Eastern Europe, one way or another, doesn't matter how, to make empty space for Germans.

But even before the war, Hitler is pretty explicit that he's not interested in subjugating or germanizing those people, but in making space for the German race. Letting them stay there and be just subjugated and germanized would, in his view, only weaken the German race.

So again, if you want to claim that Churchill is no different, please do show where and when does he propose anything even remotely similar. I mean, sure, he was an imperialist dickhead, and not a very nice person, but there are shades of grey there. Maybe not 50, but there are. There's a difference between just not giving a rodent's rear about a population, and actually proposing to clean the place of them. Neither is nice, both are a-hole attitudes, but the latter is worse than the former.
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Old 14th September 2017, 01:54 AM   #585
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Are you suggesting that it was deliberate?

And what does it have to do with him being a war criminal?
It was, in a very loose sense. The British had long squeezed rice out of Bengal with little regard for stockpiles. Grain from Australia was ready to be diverted to Bengal when Churchill intervened and had it sent to allues in Greece, IIRC, which was rather well-stocked. It's pretty similar to the Great Irish Famine in many respects.

The best book on the subject is probably the provocatively titled "Late Victorian Holocausts".

None of this compares very well to Nazi extermination policies IMO. These famines are however very comparable to the famines in Soviet Ukraine amd Kazakhstan during collectivization, and to some extent the Great Leap Forward.

But ultimately mass death was a side effect of disregard for subjects' death - it wasn't the goal in and of itself, as with the Holocaust.
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Old 14th September 2017, 02:05 AM   #586
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post

So again, if you want to claim that Churchill is no different, please do show where and when does he propose anything even remotely similar. I mean, sure, he was an imperialist dickhead, and not a very nice person, but there are shades of grey there. Maybe not 50, but there are. There's a difference between just not giving a rodent's rear about a population, and actually proposing to clean the place of them. Neither is nice, both are a-hole attitudes, but the latter is worse than the former.
Yep, pretty much this.

Churchill certainly bears some responsibility for the severity of the Bengal famine. He was made aware of how bad things were, had the resources necessarily to alleviate at least some of the suffering, and insisted that those resources (food shipments) be sent to Britain instead. But this is a very different kind of culpability than the planning and execution of the Holocaust.

The difference is similar to that of the outlook of British and Soviets toward Poles:

From Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945 by Max Hastings
Quote:
In the Soviet Union's desperate circumstances of July 1941, Stalin amnestied 50,295 Poles who were released from prisons and camps, together with a further 26,297 from POW cages and 265,248 from special settlements and exile. A substantial number of soldiers subsequently joined the Polish communist army raised inside the Soviet Union. In the following year 115,000 others, 73,000 of them military personnel and the remainder women and children, were astonished to receive permission to leave Russia for Iran, where they became a British responsibility. Though Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden recognised the Poles' ghastly plight, "living in harrowing conditions, diseased and threatened with death by starvation," this was not a burden welcomed by their new hosts. The British colonial authorities in Cairo wrote to the Foreign Office in June 1942 expressing acute alarm about the scale of the Polish migration: "To put matters brutally if these Poles die in Russia the war effort will not be affected. If they [are allowed] to pass into Persia, we, unlike the Russians, will not be able to allow them to die and our war effort will be gravely impaired. Action must be taken to stop these people from leaving the USSR before we are ready to receive them... however many die in consequence."
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Old 14th September 2017, 03:08 AM   #587
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
It was, in a very loose sense. The British had long squeezed rice out of Bengal with little regard for stockpiles. Grain from Australia was ready to be diverted to Bengal when Churchill intervened and had it sent to allues in Greece, IIRC, which was rather well-stocked. It's pretty similar to the Great Irish Famine in many respects.

... These famines are however very comparable to the famines in Soviet Ukraine amd Kazakhstan during collectivization, and to some extent the Great Leap Forward.

But ultimately mass death was a side effect of disregard for subjects' death - it wasn't the goal in and of itself, as with the Holocaust.
I agree entirely, and the strong similarity between the Ukrainian and Bengal famines has occurred to me. I have argued at length in another post, that the Stalin famine was probably not intentional genocide - though it killed millions - but resulted from imperial indifference and economic exploitation.
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Old 14th September 2017, 03:14 AM   #588
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
I agree entirely, and the strong similarity between the Ukrainian and Bengal famines has occurred to me. I have argued at length in another post, that the Stalin famine was probably not intentional genocide - though it killed millions - but resulted from imperial indifference and economic exploitation.
Yeah, I've also read that there just wasn't the infrastructure to redistribute grain, since it was all built for rapid exportation (obviously, very poor planning). Immediately halting exports would just have resulted in lots of rot. Eventually the bulk of the exports were halted and redistributed, but it took some time.
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Old 14th September 2017, 03:35 AM   #589
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As I mention in passing above, there's also the internal market in India at the time. The Raj was not a monolithic entity, it was a union of states, and a lot of those states refused to send aid to Bengal when it was requested by the overarching bureaucracy. There are arguments made that a lot of that was down to the people starving being Muslim, and those states being asked to help were ruled by Hindus.

It's one of the reasons I dislike the blinkered aiming of blame at Churchill...it tends to absolve others who were also culpable.
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Old 14th September 2017, 03:58 AM   #590
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
As I mention in passing above, there's also the internal market in India at the time. The Raj was not a monolithic entity, it was a union of states, and a lot of those states refused to send aid to Bengal when it was requested by the overarching bureaucracy. There are arguments made that a lot of that was down to the people starving being Muslim, and those states being asked to help were ruled by Hindus.

It's one of the reasons I dislike the blinkered aiming of blame at Churchill...it tends to absolve others who were also culpable.
Yes, blame the colonial subjects, not their overlords
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Old 14th September 2017, 04:35 AM   #591
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
Yes, blame the colonial subjects, not their overlords
That's not what I'm saying.
I'm saying (as I have been from the start) there's plenty of blame to go around.
That's what 'also' means.

In the same way that the landlords in Ireland during the famine hold quite a bit of responsibility for events there, along with the larger responsibility held by the mismanagement from Westminster.

And let's not think the rulers of the various states (who are the people I was referring to) that formed India in 1942 were really "subjects" in the same manner as the poor sods they lorded it over.
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Old 14th September 2017, 04:42 AM   #592
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
Yeah, I've also read that there just wasn't the infrastructure to redistribute grain, since it was all built for rapid exportation (obviously, very poor planning). Immediately halting exports would just have resulted in lots of rot. Eventually the bulk of the exports were halted and redistributed, but it took some time.
Where are you saying that happened - Ukraine or Bengal? Do you rely on written sources? Can you link to them?
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Old 14th September 2017, 05:03 AM   #593
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Where are you saying that happened - Ukraine or Bengal? Do you rely on written sources? Can you link to them?
Ukraine.
I believe it was from Davis and Wheatcroft's Years of Hunger. It may have been more speculation based on the state of infrastructure than anything explicitly attested in primary sources.
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Old 14th September 2017, 05:06 AM   #594
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
That's not what I'm saying.
I'm saying (as I have been from the start) there's plenty of blame to go around.
That's what 'also' means.

In the same way that the landlords in Ireland during the famine hold quite a bit of responsibility for events there, along with the larger responsibility held by the mismanagement from Westminster.

And let's not think the rulers of the various states (who are the people I was referring to) that formed India in 1942 were really "subjects" in the same manner as the poor sods they lorded it over.
And who perpetuates the power held by these people?

Your argument is ridiculous. It is the paramount responsibility of a sovereign state to allieve famine, not for subject states to band together.
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Old 14th September 2017, 05:49 AM   #595
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So the lot in charge of the various Indian states had no responsibility?
I think you over-estimate the power held by the GG of India (Linlithgow, later Wavell).
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Old 14th September 2017, 06:28 AM   #596
Craig B
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
Ukraine.
I believe it was from Davis and Wheatcroft's Years of Hunger. It may have been more speculation based on the state of infrastructure than anything explicitly attested in primary sources.
Unfortunately if it's Ukraine it's outside the scope of the thread, but the grain was being mainly stored by the farmers who grew it. That was the "infrastructure". It was then confiscated, and the state's infrastructure was in no condition to receive it. Did that happen in Bengal?
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Old 14th September 2017, 06:57 AM   #597
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Unfortunately if it's Ukraine it's outside the scope of the thread, but the grain was being mainly stored by the farmers who grew it. That was the "infrastructure". It was then confiscated, and the state's infrastructure was in no condition to receive it. Did that happen in Bengal?
I don't know what the export process from Bengal looked like; I'm not sure there was much to export at the time of the famine, but rather a question of diverting grain from Oz.

Tolls: The British state, being the sovereign, had ultimate responsibility. They were able, but unwilling to help. The actions of the GG are irrelevant wrt that.
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Old 14th September 2017, 07:35 AM   #598
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
Tolls: The British state, being the sovereign, had ultimate responsibility. They were able, but unwilling to help. The actions of the GG are irrelevant wrt that.
It may be ultimate, but that does not make it sole.
Events like this rarely have a single responsible element.

And the actions of the GG are entirely relevant him being part of the (for want of a better term) chain of command...and him being the one who tried to get the other states to provide relief prior to Churchill diverting food, and prior to the worst of the famine hitting (usually placed around May '43). The other states who refused.
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Old 14th September 2017, 07:43 AM   #599
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
It may be ultimate, but that does not make it sole.
Events like this rarely have a single responsible element.

And the actions of the GG are entirely relevant him being part of the (for want of a better term) chain of command...and him being the one who tried to get the other states to provide relief prior to Churchill diverting food, and prior to the worst of the famine hitting (usually placed around May '43). The other states who refused.
Heinrich Himmler was largely responsible for the Holocaust. Is this in any way relevant in a discussion about Hitler's ultimate responsibility?
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Old 14th September 2017, 08:00 AM   #600
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
Heinrich Himmler was largely responsible for the Holocaust. Is this in any way relevant in a discussion about Hitler's ultimate responsibility?
No, but it does show it was more complicated than simply going "Hitler bad". Indeed, the blame for the Holocaust goes a long way...Hitler by himself could not have achieved it, and neither could his closest henchmen. There are, indeed, whole books on how it was able to happen, and where things went wrong.

Which is precisely what I've been getting at wrt the Bengal Famine. It took a lot of events, and decisions along the chain (and branches) to create the disaster.
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